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Cheers! Event Supports Healthcare Scholarships

February 10, 2017 10:15 a.m.

  • 2017 Cheers! Committee

Katelyn Ruholl of Teutopolis and Brett Miller of Toledo are two of many that have benefited from Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Volunteer Guild scholarship program.

 “This scholarship has made it less stressful and allowed me to focus more on school rather than finances,” Ruholl said. She is currently a junior nursing student at St. John’s Nursing School in Springfield and aspires to be a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). “I have always loved taking care of others by putting their needs before mine. I also love learning about all of the amazing ways our body works,” she said.

Miller obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and then worked for three and a half years before deciding to return to school to pursue a degree in nursing. “Being a non-traditional student has given me many life experiences that have prepared me for nursing. I wanted a career where I could make a difference,” he said.

Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Volunteer Guild is honored to support area students like Ruholl and Miller through its Scholarship Program. Net proceeds from this year’s event, Cheers!, formerly La Grande Soirée, will help fund other scholarship recipients. The public is invited to purchase tickets to the event, which will be from 6 to 11 pm Saturday, March 4, at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham. This is the 33rd year Sarah Bush Lincoln has hosted a dance to provide scholarships to area students pursuing healthcare-related careers.

Organizers are planning a fun, dressy event with an informal atmosphere. This year’s

high-energy cocktail party will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of a traditional sit-down dinner. The evening begins with a social hour at 6 pm, followed by a dance from 7 to 11 pm, with music by the popular dance band, Downtime from St. Louis.

As part of the night’s activities, participants will have an opportunity to purchase tickets to four taste-testing stations, including wine, microbrew beers, whiskey and cordials. Each ticket purchased during this event, called “Booze and Bling,” represents a chance to win a piece of diamond jewelry from Towne Square Jewelers of Charleston. In addition, a coffee bar with desserts, and a snack-mix and popcorn station will be offered as the evening comes to a close.                 

The committee is also selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a St. Louis Cardinals baseball-game package as another way to support the Guild Scholarship Program. The package includes four dugout, box-seat tickets to the Tuesday, April 25, St. Louis Cardinals’ game against the Blue Jays; hotel accommodations at the Residence Inn downtown; a $50 gas card from Lambo’s BP; cash for food; and much more. The winning ticket will be drawn on Friday, March 3. You need not be present to win.

Since 1979, the SBL Guild has awarded more than half a million dollars in scholarships to students in a 19-county area who are pursuing their educations in medically related fields. Qualified areas of study include, but are not limited to nursing, medical technology, radiology, physical therapy, pharmacy, dietetics, medical coding, and speech pathology. The school to be attended must be accredited or recognized as an approved program by the appropriate agencies. Scholarships are awarded for an academic year and are based on a student’s scholastic achievement, financial need and the availability of funds. This year’s scholarship application deadline is April 15. Selection of recipients is made in early May.

For more information about scholarships or to submit an application, contact Colleen Stoner, director of Volunteer Services at Sarah Bush Lincoln at (217) 258-4180.  Scholarship applications can be completed online by visiting

For more information about Cheers!, or to purchase a dance or raffle ticket, contact Kim Lockart at (217) 238-4765

Members of the 2017 Cheers! committee pictured are: (front row, left to right) Karen Littleford, Tricia Dye and Kim Lockart, special event coordinator; Back row (left to right) Amanda Yost, Debra Sandercock, Jerri Pine, Beth Catt and Colleen Stoner, Volunteer Services Director. Committee members not pictured are Catherine Bovard, Eva Higgins, Jodi Hildebrandt, 2017 committee chair, and Lissa Skocy.


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